|World Trip Home||Post Eight|
|Bienvenido a Sevilla|
From Barcelona we took the train to the capital city of Madrid where we walked around the old town, saw the 'big three' art museums, and enjoyed the tapas and party scene in a city that truly seems to never sleep. Madrid was nice but not what we were looking for - perhaps a little too big. So, after three days we got on a high-speed 'AVE' train and shot down to Sevilla at up to 200 km/hr.
This is a photo of our train in the station in Sevilla. -- Scott
They say you're either a cat person or a dog person. I'm definitely a dog person (fortunately, Scott and I are in full agreement on this), starting with my allergy to feline dander, and continuing on through my upbringing with a pooch.
But I must admit, Batgirl bewitched me a bit. Scott and I both became pretty attached to Christin's unique, funny, skittish, neurotic roommate. (As Christin says, "Hey, what do you expect? Her brain's the size of a walnut.") Batgirl wouldn't come near us for the first week, but as you can see here, she eventually came around.
Oh, I had no illusions. We were the temporary feeders and pooper scoopers, and she wanted our warmth. As soon as Christin (translation: "Alpha Cat") came home, Batgirl treated us like clingy younger siblings. Oh, well. It was still sad to say goodbye. -- Karen
Here's Christin, our friend whose apartment we watched during our Sevilla stay. She's a painter and children's book illustrator who picked up her oils and easel a couple of years ago and headed to Sevilla to learn Spanish, dance Flamenco, and soak up the Andalusian sun.
We contacted her over e-mail through a mutual friend (thank you, Robert), and showed up at her place on a sunny May afternoon to housesit for a month. A few hours later, after she had walked us through town, bought us a beer at a favorite local watering hole, and introduced us to a great tapas bar, we found ourselves sitting under the shade of a tree in a sidewalk café, sipping café con leche and chatting like we had known each other much, much longer than a few hours. -- Karen
According to the locals, Sevilla was, to quote Cole Porter (I think it was Cole…), too darn hot. Various people told us that the blast-furnace heat we were experiencing was unusual for May, and one person even informed Scott that Sevilla was getting an unusual dose of "Sahara winds" (whatever that means). At any rate, rather than dripping in its usual humidity, the town was baking in dry heat. The temperatures hovered at 100+ degrees for at least two weeks. It truly was Africa-hot.
And I loved it! I couldn't take that kind of heat on a long-term basis, but for a couple of weeks, the warmth was fabulous. I'd never lived in a place before where I could walk around in a tank top and shorts at 11 p.m. and be comfortable but couldn't leave the house at noon. This is a place where women carry fold-up fans in their purses and actually use them, flipping them open and fluttering away while they sip Coca-Cola in cafes. -- Karen
This shot was taken from the main cathedral in the center of Sevilla. It is late afternoon and you can see the shadow of the tower in the square. Sevilla was a relaxing time for us. We were staying in our friend's apartment, watching her cat while she was back in the states. We had six weeks to enjoy Andalusia, update the web site, catch up with email and prepare for our trip through Europe.
The days were hot (many over 100 degrees) so we spent most of our time indoors. Karen got back into cooking and I took photos, read books and wrote. In the evenings we explored the restaurants and nightlife of Sevilla. -- Scott
The cathedral tower afforded us a fantastic view of the city. This picture does a good job of showing how Sevilla is kind of big, little town. There aren't many buildings on the horizon taller than a few stories, and it's clear that the city has grown organically, adding random buildings until they somehow formed a block, expanding as necessary over the centuries. No grid here.
You also can see how much people use their roofs. Across from our building, a four-star hotel had installed a pool on top of the building (we tried to plot some way to swing over Batman-style with rope and grappling hook for a nighttime swim, but couldn't figure it out). Our laundry dried within minutes hanging from rooftop clotheslines. And after the sun went down, it was a lovely place to enjoy a breath of fresh air and a sip of sangria. -- Karen
This is the Moorish door leading into the courtyard of the cathedral. The courtyard is full of orange trees and was once part of a Moorish mosque that stood on this site. Once the Spanish recaptured Andalusia, they pulled down the mosque but kept the tower and the courtyard for their gothic cathedral. -- Scott
Scott & Karen Semyan